View Full Version : How did your first ever visit as a CM go? How did you prepare?

20-07-2011, 03:17 PM
I've been told: don't buy anything such as toys/equipment until you know what age children you'll be minding. That makes sense. But I don't have any children of my own so there won't be a play room or toys set up as part of my home anyway, so surely I'd need to set my house up to look as though I have something to offer!... before a visit.
So I'm wondering how you prepared for your very first visit from a potential parent and how did it go?

20-07-2011, 03:29 PM
I don't think it does any harm to get some toys & equipment in ready before you start minding. What if you had a parent visit & they wanted their child to start the following week? You wouldn't want to dash out & buy everything in one go!

I would start getting some 'basics' in that suit a wide range of ages. Think of the key areas:

construction - so duplo, or building blocks
small world - Happy Land or toy animals
role play - play food, pots & pans
dressing up - scarves, hats, bags
craft - glue, paint, paper, bits to stick on

then build up a box of general bits & bobs that you pick up as you go along - baby toys, cars, dolls.

Most things like that can be used by all ages, so you'd have something for them to play with when they come to visit. You can then start building up your toys when you get some children & know how old they are & what their interests are.

20-07-2011, 03:31 PM
my DD was 6 months old when I registered and the family who first visited were booked before coming to see what I had - I knew the grandmother and she knew I would be great for her grand daughter :thumbsup:

my toys were mostly for DD age but I always bought a bit ahead so the 1yr old mindee had basic toys for her age too and I expanded resources as I went along.

I would start to look at car boot sales etc for bargains. What age range are you hoping to care for? A box of duplo/other large construction does for a good age range as do balls, paints/crayons and paper. Don't go for age specific toys till you get mindees then see what age/stage/ interests they have

20-07-2011, 03:33 PM
Mine didn't go very well, mainly because I was so nervous:blush: I forgot to say most of what I had wanted to say, my mind just went blank! I also spent too long going over all the fees and too little time concentrating on the child. I have only had the one visit so far and am hoping that the next one goes better ...

I have two children of my own (eldest is 3) so I have a lot of younger children's toys but nothing at all for school aged children. I think if I had an enquiry for an older child I would probably whip down to the shop quickly and pick up one cheap toy for that age. Just so that I would have something to offer the child at the visit.

20-07-2011, 03:43 PM
If I was a parent looking for childcare and visited a childminder who didn't have a single toy in the house I would be quiet wary. I don't think you need to have a lot to start with though.

I have two of these next to each other at one end of my living room:

They are quiet large and really bright and colourful. Much better than other road rugs I have seen. They are good for all ages too. The great thing about them is that if you put a couple of toys on top (like a few cars or happy land stuff) then it makes it look like you have loads and really catches the eye! It is a great way to create a play area without spending very much.

20-07-2011, 03:53 PM
I had most things as I have my own 2 children who were 5 and nearly 2 at the time. I think if you go out and buy some basics you'll be fine. My meeting went really well and they signed there and then :thumbsup: I'm quite outgoing and confident though and used to business meetings plus I also used to be a nanny so I know how to interact with children.


20-07-2011, 04:57 PM
You could make some home made playdough to have set out for when the kids visit so even if you haven't got loads of toys yet parents can see the kind of activities you'll be doing.

20-07-2011, 09:15 PM
Thanks for the replies. I think I will get some bits to brighten the place up and a few toys/resources. Maybe a mat, some colourful storage and as you say some basic play stuff. I know if I were the parents looking at a CM's home I'd want to see at least an area of the house dedicated to the children, but that's just me. I like the car mats - there are three young boys in my family who I know would love that!

20-07-2011, 09:22 PM
My own children were small when I started childminding and to begin with I looked after their friends so there were toys around and the children knew me.

Do you have resources from your teaching days to show parents the sort of activities you would do with the children - if you have children in the family you could always take photos of them doing the activities (if their parents didn't mind) so you could show prospective parents.

Miffy xx

21-07-2011, 06:07 AM
I had most things from my own children

I would also start with some basic toys

Good luck

Angel xx